Fibro and a Cold battle it out

Living Creatively with Fibro | Managing Fibro in Cold and Flu Season

Although as far as I am aware I don’t have any official low immune system it is fair to say that when it comes to seasonal bugs I fall for pretty much anything going. As I am no longer working day to day with the general public I hoped I would be able to give the lurgies a wide berth this year.

But no, although I am not going out very much other people around me are. Last week Michael drove my brother to an emergency Doctor’s appointment because his cold had turned into a chest Infection. Michael started having cold symptoms earlier in the week and on Wednesday they well and truly got their claws into me. Thursday was barely worth talking about but today I am feeling a tiny bit better but my departing sore throat is leaving a husky croak in its place – why oh why when I have an important reading to do tomorrow! Let’s do this let’s talk about Fibro and a Cold.

Doing the right thing by both conditions

I am not going to waste your time by going through all the things you can do to help shift a cold because let’s face it, the information is out there in plentiful supply. If you need a bit of a prompt you can get the basics here at the NHS website. What I want to talk about is the way Fibromyalgia can complicate the usual treatments, remember Fibro can come in many shapes and sizes so I can’t guarantee what is good for me will help you.


Resting and sleep, yes, before Fibro I could spend a whole sick day in bed no problem. With Fibro, I have found that too long spent in bed can become painful for me. Equally too long asleep can cause bad headaches. I find that getting up, having a short walk around the flat and moving to sit on the sofa with my feet up really helps to find the right balance. It is a good idea to have something lined up on Netflix etc to watch that is just the right balance of enough to distract you from yourself but not enough that needs you to concentrate. Reading can be good but make sure you don’t need to hold up the book or Kindle because the chances are you will not that the strength to do that for many minutes.

Keep Warm

Another tricky thing, I am one of the many people who have a wonky internal thermometer so I don’t even need to have a cold to have my temperature all over the place. I found that keeping the room warm meant that I sweated so much that my pyjama top became soaked leaving me colder than before. My recommendation is to remove any huggy clothes and drape yourself in anything loose fitting or even a thin blanket. I have one of those blankets with sleeves which is perfect, you can get a selection at Amazon.

Drink Plenty

Pretty sound advice, just be aware though that one of the Fibro related symptoms can be a sensitive bladder, Fibrodaze talks about this in more detail. All I am going to say is if you are drinking extra fluids and you have any bladder weakness getting up and down to the toilet when you are already aching far more than usual needs some thinking about an advance planning…

Some extra thoughts

Essential Oils

Not many mainstream medical sites mention this but you will find lots of people who live with Chronic pain as well as natural therapists talk about using Essential Oils. I now use Essential Oils as part of my regular routine to help manage my Fibro symptoms but when I have a cold they come in even handier. I have a diffuser from Amazon which I use various combinations of oil in. One of my go-to combinations for pain is Lavender, Peppermint and Eucalyptus. This combination works well for cold symptoms too. One of my favourite suppliers is Esspee Naturals on eBay.


The NHS may suggest that there is little evidence that supplements help, however, other people swear by them. I find I cannot have very much fresh fruit (primarily the acidic ones) or I get stomach pains. Although I have vegetables I find a boost of Vitamin C useful in the wintry months. Echinacea also helps me to shorten a cold. I hate to say it but look past the money, who is promoting or demoting an idea and how will this affect them financially. At the end of the day if something works for you (as long as it is safe and not damaging you in the long run) look around to find out who may be using products and see how much help it is giving them whilst comparing their general health to yours. Good luck.

Be prepared to have no spoons!

We have all seen the TV adverts when someone is struck down with a cold but takes a “magic pill” and carrier on with their life as if nothing was wrong at all! Before Fibromyalgia it is true that I was able to take some over the counter medication and get through the day as well as possible. With Fibro though it can be like you have full on flu for the worst day or two of a cold. As soon as you get the early warning make any arrangements possible to completely empty your schedule for a few days… This post nearly didn’t go out on time!

Try not to exhaust yourself…

researching and doing everything possible about avoiding catching it! I couldn’t help this one.

Please let me know If there is anything I can do to help you from getting me sick.

This tickled me but the reality is that as long as you take sensible precautions there is very little you can do to avoid catching a cold (although obviously, a Flu jab can help prevent certain strains of flu). Far better to make some preparations for the inevitable and be grateful if you manage to get through the Autumn and Winter months without getting ill.

Fibro Fog and Extra Medications

If you are taking extra medications and you suffer from Fibro Fog (you can read more about that in this post) I would recommend putting some tracking system in place, you don’t want to either miss a dose or even worse overdose. I confess that even when I set an alarm I can easily manage to switch it off and forget to take the tablets, especially if I do not have a drink at hand to take them with. I now have an alarm 15 minutes before I take the tablets to remind me to get a drink. When this goes off I sort out a drink if I don’t have one and put the tablet box on top of the phone. This usually reminds me to take the tablets when the next alarm goes off.

If the bugs hit during a flare up

If you are unlucky enough to get a cold or flu whilst managing a flare-up I wish you good luck this happened to me about seven months ago. A lot of the advice is the same but the recovery period may be far longer. Having some sort of project you enjoy may be a good plan as you gradually get your strength back.

I wish you good luck in managing your health now the dark nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping.

Until next time,
Gentle Hugs,

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